Thursday, June 14, 2007

working on vol2

Started working on a second installment of AQAL Christian theology. The first was on mystical theology.

What I'm working on now is Biblical theology.

It involves a number of things:

1)Using the quadrant frame to differentiate (based on predominant perspective) the different kinds of Biblical/religious criticism. Form criticism, source criticism, anthropology of religion, sociology of religion, evolutionary biological.

It will actually run more through quadrivia--looking at a discipline itself as if through the four quadrants.

I'm wondering whether I should stick with the traditional Biblical only forms of reading or broaden out to things like soc. of religion. It's getting a little out of hand.

Read more

The reason to do this is not create the need for uber-readings of Biblical texts that cover everything under the sun in order to pass some (rather) arbitrary marking of integral. It is rather to create a frame (which currently does not exist) so these otherwise fragmented and specialized disciplines and sub-disciplines would actually have a way to work together. Not that everyone has to become master or all domains.

2)That being set, there are then levels of analysis within these different traditions.

e.g. Text criticism which deals only with establishing the Biblical texts manuscripts. The field early on began with an assumption that one could eventually return to the original text as it really was (modern, orange). Then a period of relativism set in, when scholars began to realize that one could never make judgments on texts outside of scholarly interpretation (postmodern , green) extreme versions of which have said there are no better/worse accurate/less accurate texts but non-grounded floating judgments, the absence of which filled by power readings and psychoanlysis or literary deconstruction on the interpreters themselves. And now, with someone like Bart Ehrmann, probably the leader in the field (in English anyway) you have the move towards a more nuanced, integrated position. He's aware of the fact that the interpreter is always factored into the equation but still works (and more importantly has the injunctions that reveal a worldspace such that this view can occur) with an ability to actually ground better/worse readings but in an open-ended, systems view way.

Again all of this is just preliminary work and probably will go in directions I'm not planning. The emphasis is really on the three practices: nonexclusion, enfoldment, and enactment. Particularly the latter.

Instead of a perspective-free metaphysical view, whether traditional, liberal, liberationist, or deconstructive in nature. All of which work under the assumption of a perspective free Kosmos. Even the postmodernists crew, still thinks that interpretation.

Here's Wilber:
(Even the postmodernists are caught in this prior low-order abstraction that hands them a violated cosmos that they then attempt to repair with an emphasis on pluralism and interpretation, which only further hides, and exacerbates, the prior problem. Postmodernism emphasizes that perceptions are always interpreted, but both perceptions and interpretations are actually perspectives before any of that happens. Postmodernism has caught only a glimmer of a much deeper secret. That is, even postmodernism is caught in low-order metaphysics, a metaphysics that it has otherwise labored nobly to move beyond, as we saw in Excerpt C. The "crime" of metaphysics is not that it postulates non-material levels of reality, which may or may not exist, but that it postulates levels that are not always already perspectives, and thus are abstract in all the wrong ways.)
That's why for me it is more an integrally informed thing (to use the jargon). It's not that the scholarship is not already very good in many quarters. The practices are already honed and have arisen in a Universe that allows them. It's just about widening the field in which all these conversations take place. Free by limit in order to prevent the increasing balkanization in the field. Everybody going their own way, ignoring much of what takes places elsewhere, in large part, because it is not clear how they relate, if at all.

3)A Nondual orthodox reading of the text. The first book achieved the end of showing a causal-level state-stage reading (as well as gross and subtle) and the ideas of structure-stages in a basic form.

But the Nondual in terms of the text has to come from within the text as opposed to an outside Vedanta-like reading superimposed on the Biblical text. It is a dualistic text, emphasizing the many/relation. So a Nondual reading has to make use of the dualistic nondual. All references either to Oneness or Manyness are dual. Any language is inherently dualistic. But much of the Eastern corpus uses the analogies on on the Oneness side ("You are THAT"). The Biblical text uses the Manyness. Kabbalah gives the perfect reading for how to do this in a Christian way. Kabbalah speaks about the Nondual in terms of exile and restoration. Not the "everything is one and umoved" traditional Eastern enlightenment. In an evolutionary construct, I think this is key. Again this might have to have to totally separate from everything above.


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